Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

New find

"Daily Sonnets is also a time experiment but of another sort. In that book I was trying to invent time which did not exist. I experimented with writing in very uncongenial circumstances, such as wrapped in a towel after a shower for a time limit of one or two minutes. I was trying to find a way to work within that sense of rapid, noisy, interrupted time very much of the moment. This was a very liberating experiment and I recommend it to everyone. Whatever constraints you think you live within, in terms of what time you have to write, try breaking them. Write standing in line, half asleep. Write in every way except the ways which are habitual. In this way time and form open tremendously. Suddenly instead of having only an hour here or there, you have all of time."

(Laynie Browne interviewed http://www.bookslut.com/blog/archives/2008_01.php)

From what I can glean from her available poems online, Laynie Browne is taking her bearings from Berrigan and Mayer. So this is someone I'm adding to my Need To Read list.

Hear her read at http://andrewkenower.typepad.com/a_voice_box/2007/05/laynie_brown_pe.html

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday afternoon


... reading the Scroggins Zukofsky biography & "A" 1.

A new planet in my Uni-Verse.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My turn



1) what are you reading?

Over the past three years or so I've come to accept that my earlier reading habits are no longer appropriate. The two major factors affecting my reading are: i) a full-time teaching job (with its own required reading - set texts, student essays, etc); ii) my children & other family commitments (reading time has to be budgeted). Gone are the days of aimless weekends, lulls in free-lance work, grant-assisted time in libraries.

The best model I've found derives from astronomy - writers and texts moving in orbits, creating periodic constellations. It's rare that I finish anything. Instead a book returns, offering a different facet, entering into a different alignment with another text.

Thus ...

Orbit A: (long periods of recurrence) The Odyssey, Pound's Cantos, Moby Dick, Blake, Emily Dickinson, Joseph Cornell

Orbit B: (shorter periods of recurrence) Peter Gizzi, Lisa Jarnot, Graham Foust, Cathy Wagner, Sean Bonney etc.

Orbit C: Berrigan, O'Hara, Notley, Ashbery, Coolidge, Schuyler, Mayer, Guest, Padgett, Ceravolo ...

Orbit D: Creeley, Olson, WCW, H.D., Zukofsky, Oppen, Duncan, Stein, W. Stevens

with ...

orbiting satellites, as, for instance, around the Cantos - Bunting, Guy Davenport, Hugh Kenner; around Dickinson - Susan Howe

2) how/where do you read?

- first thing, 6.30am, often astonished how lines jump out and establish a frame for the day
- workdays - snatches between classes or during breaks - often online poems accessed via Blogs or journals. Often I simply have a book with me - a totem object of sorts. Knowing it is there helps. (O'Hara's copy of Reverdy in his pocket?)
- weekends/holidays - the garden if possible - reading Duncan & H.D & Barbara Guest last summer outside in the sun was wonderful. If not, our bedroom or the girls' room (velux windows are conducive to expansive thinking?)
- work evenings - possibly after everything else but essay marking saps the spirit.
- before bed - some incredible dreams provoked by reading certain poems
- on the way to/back from work - sadly impossible (driving)
- trains - ideal
- planes - too terrified
- bike - too dangerous
- walking - too much of a pose (and hazardous)

3) specifically in terms of poetry

- how do you approach a new volume/new poet?
- how do you read a poet?

I, too, share a kind of reluctance - worried it/he/she won't live up to expectations. Depending on the time of year (and the volume) i) a saturation job - intense devotion to that text, one poem dictates the day, plenty of notebooking, excerpting of key lines, plunging into related material such as letters, biographies, etc; ii) a dipping into - certain poems read and re-read; iii) a departure from - the book sends me off in search of something else. On occasions a new writer/new book is entirely skipped over as I've jumped ahead or back; iv) total bafflement or frustration - I can't find anything to latch onto and am filled with feelings of inadequacy (I very rarely blame the text - it's my failing). I then read around trying to find some kind of 'way in'. If all else fails, I leave the volume - only to find some months later I return to it and certain poems now 'speak'.

In addition, I try to source statements by the writer, photos, mp3s. The text acquires further dimensions.

Now and again, I'll even try out a text in a class.

Best of all, I start writing off a text. (Is this the best reading of all?)

4) again, specifically in terms of poetry ... are you reading

- anthologies?
- chapbooks?
- major publisher volumes?
- online texts?
- magazines?

I feel I have to correct a possible misunderstanding - I really don't go for sumptuous limited editions. One of my main gripes about a lot of contemporary French poetry you see in bookshops here and in Paris is that whiff of aristocratic belle lettrism. Yes, I have some first ed. Raworths etc but they were lucky finds and working against connoisseurship as such. And my chapbooks are all via Alan Halsey & Peter Riley at 3 pounds or less - simple fold and staple jobs. It's the hand-produced or small press 'feel' I go for. Somehow it seems truer to intent (as, for instance, that Evan Parker/Derek Bailey CD - terrific original LP liner notes and images).

Magazines: Chicago Review, Fence, LRB. NYRB, PN Review, Modern Painters, The Wire - and anything else I can access for free on the computer (Jacket is great).

5) right now who are your 3 (or 6, or 12) key poets?

Peter Gizzi, Robert Duncan, Graham Foust, then Zukofsky, Pound, Oppen, then Dickinson. In any order. And with several other people intervening.

6) same as 5 - but other than poets?

Right now ... Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Pierre Hadot; Deleuze on Nietszche; Carol Klein on growing vegetables; sci-fi (Ballard, Dick, Arthur C. Clarke); kids books (H-C Andersen, George Macdonald, Lauren Child, etc); A.N. Whitehead (stalled); Wittgenstein (stalled); Gnostic texts.

And a further category:

7) reading in dreams. Maybe once every couple of months a dream in which I read a manuscript or notebook page containing fascinating work - the text being shown by some writer or a 'possessor'/guardian figure. Needless to say, on waking the writing is impossible to recall.

Is there some guiding logic to all this? Who knows?

I'm sorry ... very sorry ...



... to hear that Humphrey Lyttelton has died. I can't remember with any great accuracy the first programme I heard of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' - maybe 1978, waiting in the car ready to drive down to Spain? It was funny then and it has continued to be.*

I will admit that my teaching style - such as it is - owes a lot to Humph. To listen to him as Chairman was to receive an education in timing, delivery, the calculated understatement, the mocking imitation of fashionable jargon. Dazzling.

I can only assume this spells the end for the show. Willy Rushton could be replaced as a panellist - but Humph as Chairman?

So it's a sad day. They'll be mourning in Mornington Crescent.

_______________________________

* correction: I think it got funnier over the years. A rarity in comedy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How do you read?

OK. Here's a new thread. Having just dipped into Jonathan Mayhew's Blog and seen his omniverous reading habits, here's a question (or two, or six):

1) what are you reading?

2) how/where do you read?

3) specifically in terms of poetry

- how do you approach a new volume/new poet?
- how do you read a poet?

4) again, specifically in terms of poetry ... are you reading

- anthologies?
- chapbooks?
- major publisher volumes?
- online texts?
- magazines?

5) right now who are your 3 (or 6, or 12) key poets?

6) same as 5 - but other than poets?

And I'll play too.

Pedestrian woes

Just had abuse hurled at me for using the pedestrian crossing in front of the school. A driver (20s, sunglasses, white VW) rolled down his window and shouted to me who did I think I was stopping the traffic?

It's fairly representative of an attitude amongst Belgian drivers: the unquestioned priority of the car. Furthermore, a 'je m'en foutism' (if that's the correct spelling) which expresses itself in parking 4x4s diagonally across parking spaces, pushing you off the fast lane, overtaking on the inside, ignoring 90kmh signs, driving through red lights, carving up cyclists ... And, if you are the driver and stop to allow someone to cross, expect someone to start thumbing their horn.

So what's the great hurry?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Human Abstract



Listened to Elizabeth Willis talking about 'The Human Abstract' with Charles Bernstein. She claims that it is full of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. I'm just nearing the end of teaching the text and, looking through the poem, I can't see evidence of the novel. Am I missing something?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rules of Play



1) you shall investigate the unfamiliar until it has become familiar

2) you shall impose rhythmic repetition on the familiar

3) you shall vary this repetition in as many ways as possible

4) you shall select the most satisfying of these variations and develop these at the expense of the others

5) you shall combine and recombine these variations one with another

6) you shall do this for its own sake for an end in itself

(Evan Parker quoting Desmond Morris in the original liner notes to 'The Topography of the Lungs')

- sounds good?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday morning

Crisis is a Hair
Toward which the forces creep
Past which forces retrograde
If it comes in sleep

To suspend the Breath
Is the most we can
Ignorant is it Life or Death
Nicely balancing.

Let an instant push
Or an Atom press
Or a Circle hesitate
In Circumference

It - may jolt the Hand
That adjusts the Hair
That secures Eternity
From presenting - Here -

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A matter of hands



Peter Falk: I can't see you, but I know you're here! I feel it. You've been hanging around since I got here. I wish I could see your face... just look into your eyes and tell you how good it is to be here. Just to touch something! Here, that's cold! That feels good! Here, to smoke, have coffee. And if you do it together it's fantastic. Or to draw: you know, you take a pencil and you make a dark line, then you make a light line and together it's a good line. Or when your hands are cold, you rub them together, you see, that's good, that feels good! There's so many good things! But you're not here - I'm here. I wish you were here. I wish you could talk to me. 'Cause I'm a friend. ... CompaƱero!

*

"Craft means handiwork, a matter of hands. And these hands must belong to one person, i.e. a unique, mortal soul searching for its way with its voice and its dumbness. Only truthful hands write true poems. I cannot see any basic difference between a handshake and a poem ... Poems are also gifts - gifts to the attentive. Gifts bearing destinies." (Celan, from 'Letter to Hans Bender')

*

Ein Halsband aus Handen gab dir der Wald, so schreitest du tot ubers Seil
(The forest gave you a necklace of hands. So dead you walk the rope.)
from 'Talglicht'/'Tallow Lamp'

Die Hand voller Stunden, so kamst du zu mir ...
(Your hand full of hours, you came to me ...)

- just to take two early poems from the Selected Poems

*

It is truly strange to no longer inhabit the earth,
to no longer practice customs barely acquired,
not to give a meaning of human futurity
to roses, and other expressly promising things:
no longer to be what one was in endlessly anxious hands,
and to set aside even one’s own
proper name like a broken plaything...
(Rilke, First Duino Elegy)

*

to have in hand, at hand, handiwork, what's handy, a handle, handling, underhand, hand in hand, to shake hands, to give a hand, to be on hand, on the one hand and on the other ...

Celan, Rilke, Heidegger ... all these German hands - and that proffered hand of Falk's in 'Wings of Desire' ...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday afternoon

"A poem, being an instance of language, hence essentially dialogue, may be a letter in a bottle thrown out to sea with the - surely not always strong - hope that it may somehow wash up somewhere, perhaps on the shoreline of the heart. In this way, too, poems are en route: they are headed toward."

(Celan, from 'Speech on the Occasion of Receiving the Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen')

*



It occurred to me last night that it's a while since I've put anything on the Blog to do with music. So here's an update ...

The Current Belgianwaffle Ambience

1. Martial Solal, soundtrack for 'A Bout de Souffle'
... think Miles Davis & 'Lift to the Scaffold', think Monk, think Belmondo, think Paris, think what Sarkozy is ruining ...

2. Herbie Hancock, soundtrack for 'Blow Up'
... put this on in the car and wind down the window and pretend you are David Hemings and everything in the world was still possible ...

3. 'Wings of Desire' soundtrack
... those very Britten-like cello pieces, the Stockhausen 'Stimmung'-like library sequence, Solveig Dommartin swaying to Nick Cave's 'From Her to Eternity' ...

4. Burial 'Untrue'
... ghost sounds and heart beats from the London streets ...

5. Herbie Hancock, 'River: The Joni Letters'
... could so easily have been really awful but the track 'River' is utterly beautiful ...

6. 'White Horses' off the CD 'Songs for the Young At Heart'
... summer holiday television (1970?), bad dubbing, Austrian girls and horses and Uncle Hugos ...

7. Nalle, 'The Siren's Wave', 'First Eden Sank to Grief'
... hear this on The Wire Resonance show - recommended! ...

8. Re-runs of Ed Reardon on Radio 4
... there are days when I am Ed Reardon ...

9. Boulez, Piano Sonatas
... I think I ought to like these but don't much ...

10. Debussy, Pelleas et Melisande (Karjan)
... one of Cornell's favourites, string sections like shivers running down your spine, lush stuff ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bitter almonds

" 'Attention', if you allow me a quote from Malebranche via Walter Benjamin's essay on Kafka, 'attention is the natural prayer of the soul'."

(Paul Celan, 'The Meridian', trans. Rosemarie Waldrop)

*

Reading some early poems of Celan and regretting I didn't continue with German - I remember the pained look of Richard Stokes on the morning I went to tell him - although I know why (to switch English classes to get Dave Edwards and Richard Jacobs). The influence of teachers!

Reading Celan I know I am missing so much and I'm ridiculously proud of spotting puns as in:

"Mache mich bitter.
Zahle mich zu den Mandeln"

(note: I can't do umlauts in Blogger)

I'm cast back upon Bunting's advice to simply listen to the language and how that will open up the poem. And so with this poem, the tetchy tight teeth-tongue sounds of "zahle" and "bitter" - as if the almonds were being nibbled, searching for the irritating little bits between the teeth.

Then again, might this be a salutary lesson in reading poetry in English - an inherent foreigness? That poetic language is essentially a language 'other than'? Both closer to and further from us?

*

... and I've just discovered that "mandeln" are tonsils in German, too. A case of poet's throat? Any Celan scholars out there?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Breathing space

Looking back over the week, I began on Monday morning looking at Williams’ ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’; Thursday there was a school conference on the role of religion in the 21st Century; this morning (as on Wednesday and Friday afternoons and yesterday morning) I went swimming. And right now I’m writing this in preparation for the Blog. And I’m beginning to see how everything might relate.

i) ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ I read in terms of the tension between a referential ‘pull’ in the language (red – white – wheel – barrow – rain – chickens – upon – beside), adjectives plus nouns plus prepositions suggestive of a concrete world ‘out there’, poem as depiction …

and

... the poem as poem, a construction of language, (WCW’s ‘machine’ of words) whereby enjambment (notice on the very “wheel/barrow” itself) refuses to let the reading eye let go and the inner eye conjure up a picture. You are tethered to the page: the lines (the poem’s idiosyncratic patterning), the eye:ear axis (sensing delicate little modulations of long and short vowels), the way prepositions (‘upon’, ‘beside’) even definite articles acquire as much value as nouns and adjectives; the gradual development (pedantically slow) … to get – where? To what conclusion? Well, that’s the point.

ii) During the conference I was becoming more and more dissatisfied with the terms – religion, Christianity, spirituality … Isn’t this the issue: what do we mean by ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality’? The terms have become clotted, muddled, diluted, appropriated?

iii) Swimming. The pool at 8am on a Sunday morning – the body plunges through a blue mirror. Doing lengths, the first three are an effort – it feels cold, you wonder why you didn’t just stay in bed, your muscles are stiff and reluctant. Then, as you start into the eighth length, the breathing is in rhythm with your arm strokes, the body and the water share a temperature, a different part of the brain seems to be directing your movements, you-are-you-are-not the one swimming, thoughts come and go and seem to take shape with the swimming, sunlight floats on the surface of the water and dances like writing on the floor … Leaving the pool, you hear the bird song and smell the morning air, your senses are sharpened. You could be walking on air. The idea of breakfast seems fabulous …

iv) Pierre Hadot identifies key categories of spiritual exercises or – as he puts it – Stoico-Platonic philosophical therapeutics: research (zetesis), investigation (skepsis), reading (anagnosis), listening (akroasis), attention (prosoche), self-mastery (enkrateia), meditations (meletai), in particular.

“Attention (prosoche) is the fundamental Stoic spiritual attitude. It is a continuous vigilance and presence of mind, self consciousness which never sleeps, and a constant tension of the spirit. … We could also define this attitude as “concentration on the present moment”.

v) Hadot explains the significance of physics as part of the spiritual exercises:

“the walls of the world open out, I see action going on throughout the whole void …” (Lucretius)

“Those who practice wisdom … are excellent contemplators of nature and everything she contains. They examine the earth, the sea, the sky, the heavens and all their inhabitants; they are joined in thought to the sun, the moon, and all the other stars, both fixed and wandering … and although they are attached to the earth by their bodies, they provide their souls with wings, so they may walk the ether and contemplate the powers that live there, as is fitting for true citizens of the world … it goes without saying that such men …make of their whole lives a festival …” (Philo Judaeus)

(I'm thinking of Wenders' angels in 'Wings of Desire')

“Don’t limit yourself to breathing along with the air that surrounds you; from now on, think along with the Thought which embraces all things. For the intellective power is no less universally diffused, and does not penetrate any the less into each being capable of receiving it, than the air in the case of one capable of breathing it … you will make a large room at once for yourself by embracing in your thought the whole Universe, and grasping ever-continuing Time …” (Marcus Aurelius)

(What did Wittgenstein say? "I manufacture my own oxygen" - was that it?)

vi) Learning to die – Hadot cites Brice Parain “language develops only upon the death of individuals” before developing a section on philosophy as a ‘training for death’. Inevitably, I’m thinking of Blanchot and his ideas of the encounter with language as an existential encounter with the Other.

vii) Learning to read – first, in the sense of understanding how philosophical texts should be read. Not as set in stone theories or immutable laws. Instead, as a work in progress – “thoughts cannot be expressed according to the pure, absolute necessity of a systematic order. Rather, it must take into account the level of the interlocutor, and the concrete tempo of the logos in which it is expressed.” This is philosophy as a dynamics, a gymnastics even. Thought in motion and evolution.

Learning to read, second, in terms of spending our lives “reading”. As Hadot writes: “Old truths … there are some truths whose meaning will never be exhausted by the generations of man. It is not that they are difficult; on the contrary, they are often extremely simple … Yet for their meaning to be understood, these truths must be lived, and constantly re-experienced.”

He closes his essay ‘Spiritual Exercises’ with the following – it’s a terrific final flourish:

“And yet we have forgotten how to read: how to pause, liberate ourselves from our worries, return into ourselves, and leave aside our search for subtlety and originality, in order to meditate calmly, ruminate, and let the texts speak to us. This, too, is a spiritual exercise, and one of the most difficult. As Goethe said: “Ordinary people don’t know how much time and effort it takes to learn how to read. I’ve spent eighty years at it, and I still can’t say that I’ve reached my goal.”

viii) Of course – and you’ll have made this leap, I’m sure – where Hadot speaks of philosophy I’m thinking of POETRY. The Williams poem – to take what is at hand (the phrase is apt, too) – embodies the main thrust of Hadot’s essay. To abstract the ‘thought’ is to miss the meaning which is embodied in the poem, its language, the ‘situation’ of reader : page : the time and act of reading. What, in any case, is 'The Red Wheelbarrow' saying? Paraphrasable meaning seems limp, beside the point, beside the white chickens, so much depends upon ... language.

Poetry – the poetry that matters – it seems to me is always such: a reminder of the 'moment' (and the utter simplicity of this inevitably opens out into such complexity).

ix) Returning to a thread from earlier posts – the US/UK poetry ‘divide’ - is this, perhaps, another aspect of the issue? Poets such as Pound, Olson, Duncan, Spicer who see the poem as inextricable from a poetics of living, of thought embodied in the ongoing writing : living – against those who see the poem as a separable entity, ‘perfected’ (and thus amputated?).

x) And finally – if it’s not too pretentious a claim – why this Blog might be justified? As a daily (daily? – if only!) practice – imperfect, responding to different promptings (reading, writing, eating, sleeping, thinking, swimming, teaching, driving …), not knowing where it’s going only following its nose. And why it needs – itself – to listen to voices and words coming in from other directions.

Hadot, again:

“ “Spiritual exercises”. The expression is a bit disconcerting for the contemporary reader. In the first place, it is no longer quite fashionable these days to use the word “spiritual”. It is nevertheless necessary to use this term, I believe, because none of the other adjectives we could use – “psychic”, “moral”, “ethical”, “intellectual”, “of thought”, “of the soul” – covers all aspects of the reality we want to describe.”

I see his problem but offer my solution: surely “poetic” is the adjective he’s after?

*

Today Belgianwaffle renounces the wristwatch in a gesture of defiance against Time (or, rather, the timekeeping mind).

I take off my watch. There!

My mind feels lighter already.

*

Poem

(for Max Eastley)


to

be

able

to

spend

all

after

noon

.

with

a

match

and

the

colour

blue

.

that's

one

of

the

problems

I

have

.

finding

endless

variations

of

things

to

do

.

*

Deep breaths, now -

Sunday, April 06, 2008

aus der Engel Ordnungen

Looking back over the holidays, two things stand out ...



Finally getting around to watching Wenders' 'Wings of Desire' in the right frame of mind.



And seeing the Paul Klee exhibition at the 'Bozar' in Brussels.

The timing couldn't have been better.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday

I don't read Robert Duncan systematically. I hit upon poems by chance, by a footnote in the Letters, take a couple at a time. On occasions it's as though you're being nudged (which I know sounds ridiculous, but still ...).

So this pops up early this morning:

"And does not the spirit attend secretly
the music that is hidden away from me,
chords that hold the stars in their courses,
outfoldings of sound from the seed of first light?

Were it not for the orders of music hidden
we should be claimd by the preponderant void."

(from ‘Four Pictures of the Real Universe’)

I could imagine Cornell scribbling that on the back of a donut wrapper and squirreling it away.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Workshop (II)

VI.

the names indicate. drawn straight parallel to axis. focus after refraction. lens to its centre. the names indicate. situated respectively. rays passing through it. deviated more at edges. a diverging. portions of triangular. light pasing through. name centres. lens size and nature. slide A. glass on axis. passing after virtual diverging. vertical arrow. denoted by the symbol. focus.


VII.

lens thin in centre with F.


VIII.

names straight to principal axis. lens focus to its centre. glass rays slide. distance of displacement. rays in series prism. as is. distance is twice. principal axis S.


*

SYMBOL


one of two
our
origin

so going
or
converging

one of one
our
portion

so going
or
converging

one to one
our
direction

so going
or
converging

*



Talking with Alan last night about Roger Hilton's 1950's abstracts. He explains the way the forms imply an 'outside' space. How the canvas edges interact with the forms so we read outwards.

I think about this and the 'edges' of the poem - first/last lines. Pound, for instance, in Canto I writing the declamatory beginning "And then ... ". and concluding "so that:".

Also the play of forward-backward, in front-behind, positive and negative space and - again - a poem. I'm after the verbal equivalent of frayed edges of paint, under-drawing, overlap, suggestion of depth pulled back to surface.

*

Catch most of 'Notes from the Underground' on Radio 4 as I'm making soup. Despite my usual prejudices concerning such documentaries it's actually quite interesting and fills in some of the context for the Albert Hall Poetry event etc.

Check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/1968/ for when they put it up for a second listen.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Circles



One of Alan's working drawings.

Carpenter's Workshop

I, too, am intrigued to know where this will go. Here are some initial directions (as of Monday, Tuesday and today). Comments & suggestions invited - aka helping a blind man cross the road.

Much tuning required!

***

“an abstract feeling of geography and voyaging”
(July 15, 1941 (Tuesday) )

Joseph Cornell

***


RECEPTION


afraid in setting out
or waiting for a favourable wind?

here is your passport
your papers are in order

you are passing through customs
there will be duties to pay

crossing the border entails negotiations
we will see what can be arranged

each question demands an answer
we will forward an address

delivery is through another route
the terminus faces both ways

I will take down your statements
we are not in a position to decide

there have been many delays
your claim has been received

here is a map showing where you need to go
someone will show you the way

from here on is anybody’s guess
the ground is rushing below my feet

it is better to have travelled than to arrive
it is better to leave than say goodbye


***

CHRISTENING (I)



the world we baptize at a distance
valley crater ocean ridge

the distance travelled from the temple
across the bridge of the nose

each glass is a flower of breath
the word crystallized and transparent

the mind has its partitions
we are cornered in reflection

which cup conceals the ball
is a mystery written in the palm

the mind circumscribed spins threads
a single bead unstrings


***


I.

the sun presents. as describe above. the line joining the object to its corresponding. a strip of plane set up vertically. silvered surface stuck so as to be. pins next removed. either side these lines to cut. line by line with the image I. is the direction in which. the present day we have reason to believe. the sun falls on. shows either side the object O. stuck into the paper about. E pins P. pins the eye for accuracy then joined to intersect Y. point to the line its corresponding. incidence and reflection respectively. such that at the tip an eclipse. streams of tiny known as time went atoms. flame by lamp and angles plane. in each case. sun on a sheet. on either side. the oridinary ray a ring of light around. pin on a line of a day in one place. the joining corresponds. the incident i. every angle is equal. light falls lettered. the eye in the image verifiying. lines to cut. noted on a table. object to pointing. infer the mirror earth. the sun as seen. as above so below.

II.

the sun presents. the direction in which. the present day we have reason. E pins P. incidence and reflection. the sun as seen. pins the eye for accuracy then joined. point to the line its corresponding. light falls. the ordinary ray a ring of lights around. pin on a line. the object corresponding. incidence and reflection. eye in the image verifying. shows either side the object O. to intersect. noted on a table. strip of plane set up. stuck into paper about. lines to cut. the sun as described. line by line with the image I. joins the object. intersect as such.


III.

as described above. surface stuck pins next remove. verify. the line joins to its corresponding. strip of incidence. the direction in which. sun on a sheet. E pins the angle in reflection. the object shows. infer the mirror. vertically. either side streams of tiny known. sun as seen. light as lettered. pin in pointing.


IV.

the sun noted on a table. pin. the line joined to intersect Y. remove. a strip O stuck through paper. ring. the present image reflected in pointing. set. the sun respectively such. tip. the joining object X. eclipse. the eye cuts the line.


V.

i.

on the diagram. the line joining through and perpendicular. point on the object. image cuts the mirror. fixed this apparent.


ii.

in the notebook. the line in the diagram. coincides in position. side to side through O. in the window. joining point to object. one moves with the eye.

iii.

of the face situated apparently. object letter E. of the image stuck onto paper. used through and perpendicular. centre of the sheet. sense so formed. said to be.


***


100 % PROOF



we were, of course, already familiar with some of the facts



we placed our eye in some convenient position

we noticed the points P1 and P2 were joined

we disagreed with Sir Isaac Newton

we found i = r

we placed a lamp inside a tin with a small hole in it

we accepted, as time went on, the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695)

we inferred that the line joining the object is at right angles

we demonstrated three cardboard screens

we explained with the help of diagrams

we stated the laws



but

we shall learn more in the future

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

pen umbra



An Objective: (Optics) - The lens bringing rays from an object to a focus. That which is aimed at. (Use extended to poetry) -
(Zukofsky)

*


Creative filing
Creative arranging
as poetics
as technique
as joyous creation

(Joseph Cornell, 3/3/59 for week ago 2/24/59)

*

I fall into the usual trap & procedures: research. I dig into Cornell's biography, start planning a reading programme - James, Hawthorne, Melville, Astronomy textbooks - ... I'm already looking at a three year, no, a lifetime's project.

I feel jammed. How do I explain l-o-g-i-c-a-l-l-y what I am trying to do? I can't! AND THAT IS THE POINT.

Predictable despondency ensues. I'm not up to the job, I can't do it, I haven't the time, why didn't I pay attention in 'O' level Physics?

& then, just as Robert comes (leaking toilet on the first floor - we need a new joint and mechanism) I realise: as Peter Gizzi says in an interview "doubt is generative". i.e. precisely because I DON'T KNOW so I have the position from which to begin.

*

"it should be said rather that the most complicated standards of science - including definitions, laws of nature and theoretic constructions - are poetic ... " (Zukofsky)

Then ... Monday evening ... . . . Dweezil Zappa at the Bozar . A really impressive performance - two hour...